Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Birthday Girl

As is customary for a roommate birthday, I have dedicated a post to MG, who is 25 today!

It has now officially been a year since MG, KS and I moved in together, and about a year and a half since MG and I were talking after Community Group one Thursday night and she introduced the idea of us living together.

I remember someone once asking us about the worst roommate argument we've had, and we all looked at each other like "Argue? We don't argue." It's true- maybe it's the fact that we each have our own bathroom, maybe it's that we all agree on the thermostat or pizza toppings or maybe three really IS a magic number- I don't know.

I'm glad that whatever we have, works.

Once again, I have to note that there are funny things you'll never know about people until you live with them. MG practices what she has coined "preemptive pepperminting"- grabbing a handful of mints upon entrance to a restaurant and eating them on the way to the table. She does not own a pair of plain white socks- they are all colored and patterned and there are dozens of them. MG loves anything she can buy in bulk and will also buy anything Cath Kidston puts her name on.

Every night when we are sitting around, chatting and winding down from the day, all 65 pounds of Ruby will climb on MG's lap and cuddle like a child. MG is the sun around which Ruby's whole existence rotates.

It frustrates you, MG, that I will never battle you over riding shot-gun, when in fact I prefer the back seat because it relieves me of navigational duties, it means I don't have to crane my neck around to talk to anyone and it allows me to smile conspiratorially at the drive in the rear-view mirror.

I'm thankful to have a friend like you who seems to be always on my wavelength. It's good to know that someone else in the world who understands what it is to love friends, love family and still crave time alone. We took the childhood lesson of not talking to strangers to a whole new level.

I love that literature has had the influence on your life that it has had on mine- that we can talk about anything from our favorite childhood books to our recent favorites. I think that both of us reading The Fountainhead even originated from taking a walk together and saying how grating it is when people are discussing a classic we haven't read.

Music, on the other hand, neither of us know anything about.

I hope that the teenagers in your classroom will one day overcome their apathy and understand how much they can learn from you. You are so darn smart.

I have a tendency of saying: "Surely not..." and you always cut me off with: "Don't call me Shirley." It never fails.

Should you ever end up living in a foreign country for a while, you can bet that KS and I will be your first visitors.

I am thankful for that semester we spent saving each other seats in freshman history, even though we were both too reserved and serious to actually talk to each other. It could seem like an odd beginning to great friendship, but I think for us it's pretty fitting.

Happy 25th birthday to someone who likes to fly under the radar. You give and serve and love in a real and genuine way, but your faith is what I admire most about you.

Hugging you will always be weird.

I love you, MG!

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one!'
-C.S. Lewis

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Secondary Comfort

It's just a fact of life you learn when you are a woman, that certain clothes were never meant to have a functional purpose.

When you were little, it was probably the tights your mother insisted you wear to Sunday School at church every week.

As you got older, you realized that while high-heels make for a more visually-appealing look, several hours in them at the expense of foot-circulation is a high price indeed.

I bought a printed sundress recently and loved the fit of it in the dressing room. Strapless, structured without being formal, interesting print, fitted from the top to the waist, then allowing for more movement and give from the waist down to where it hit right above the knees.

I put the dress in my closet where I left it to wait for warmer summer temperatures.

The other night I was at dinner with my parents, my mom's sisters and their families. My cousin KH and I were at one end of the table eating guacamole and talking about how irresponsible we feel for shopping when we have clothes with tags still on them, just sitting in our closet.

Then MK and I were emailing and she said that she needs a new hobby "other than, you know, spending money." And, again, I found myself agreeing.

So as I was getting ready for work yesterday morning I resolved to take a fresh look at my clothes and wear one of my recent purchases from the past few months.

I spotted the strapless dress and threw it on for work with a black cardigan and gray flats, then congratulated myself on a cute, work-appropriate outfit.

I wasn't paying attention to the binding nature of the top of the dress while driving, but after sitting at my desk and work, I became acutely aware of the boning in the top of the dress.

You see, this dress was not meant for the practical, everyday occurence of sitting down.

It's meant for a bridal shower, a night out with friends on a patio perhaps, or window shopping in a beachy locale. The boning makes you stand up straight and I would imagine it looks good with heels, therefore gives you a more flattering overall look.

It was not, however, intended for someone to wear while working on spreadsheets, sitting at a desk for 7-8 hours a day.

Hencefore I'll prefer my daytime, non-event dresses to be boneless.

The dress must not hang on the body but follow its lines. It must accompany its wearer and when a woman smiles the dress must smile with her.
-Madeleine Vionnet

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Team Players

I made pulled pork for dinner on Sunday night.

It was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. I don't do a lot of slow-cooking for the sake of timing, but on a Sunday afternoon, it's completely doable.

Unfortunately for everyone else, the only photo I took was of the noble clean-up efforts by Ruby. MG, KS, BF and Molly's boyfriend Z ate the entire 2 1/2 pounds of it. Oh and myself, I may have helped a bit too.

With peach cobbler made by MG and homemade vanilla Blue Bell for dessert.

I plan to make it again soon, since it was so easy and delicious. I'll be sure to get photographic evidence and post the recipe since it would seem downright unfair to keep it to myself.

BF also had us over Friday night for a cookout- sliders with all sorts of burger-topping options and anything you could ever want to eat with burgers, so we were really just returning the favor.

I adore nights like those- I wish I could make them happen more during the week days, when a home-cooked meal is exactly what everyone needs.

Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.
-Walt Kelly

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Tarzan

There was a sale that started at Neiman Marcus today.

If a panic just set in and you're screaming: "Why did no one tell me?" please just know that I did it for your own good. Believe me.

KS has a radar unlike anything you've ever seen as to the goings-on at Neiman's. She already had a few things on hold a few days ago, when MG popped in last night with two dresses- one to keep and wear to a graduation she is speaking at for an elementary school that is uber old-school and requires a demure, non-pants-wearing dress code for their teachers. Oh and she's supposed to return the other one.

Right. Mhmm. I know that game- I've played it well.

So anyway, while she was trying the dresses on to get our votes, KS filled me in on the sale: today all of the new Neiman's merchandise would be 40% off. Shop early and find a well-stocked store waiting to take your money. Shop late and they'll have nothing left.

Equally frightening prospects.

I looked online and found that one Ali Ro dress I had spied recently fell under the umbrella of this sale. It's the only thing I allowed myself to consider purchasing because I knew if I started in with the Rebecca Taylor dresses and the Tory Burch sandals, then that would be the end of my bank account. The problem with ordering it online was that I hadn't tried it on- so I made my way to a nearby Neiman's location during my lunch hour.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not sure which, they did not have the dress, period. When I glanced back at the online listing in my phone, I noticed that they were out of all but one size online and it wasn't mine.

Did you hear that noise? That was a sigh of relief from my checking account. It will live to see another day.

While scanning the racks for my elusive dress, I noticed one-shoulder dresses everywhere, or as my friend AS called them in high school: "Tarzan dresses." I would by no means make an entire wardrobe out of them, but I think one could make a nice addition to my closet this summer.

Particularly there is pink dress one I keep seeing on SJP in the SATC 2 trailers, which I believe to be the Halston Heritage dress I found on Net-A-Porter, below...

This one is aiming a bit high for me but I would love a more casual version of a one-shouldered look.

Particularly with the long sleeve too. It might not go so well with the backyard cookout I'm attending this weekend... but I never really need an excuse to wear a dress, anyhow.

If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she's late?
-J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Monday, May 10, 2010


I was going through my photos from the past few months and realized that most of the ones I take I don't end up posting.

Possibly because I'm not too quick with the camera-to-laptop upload. There is some bureaucracy that involves me not always being able to find that particular USB cord.


I found a few photos of twosomes that I particularly liked, so I wanted to share...

In an old house in Paris
That was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls
In two straight lines.
-Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans

Sunday, May 9, 2010

From Scratch

I've been a bit uncreative recently. I haven't felt much like reading novels, which I typically love, and I feel uninspired to write. I'm not sure if the two are connected.

I've been writing this blog for almost two years now, and a lot has changed since I began. I am now almost two years beyond my time living in New York City. I started blogging in the first place on The New(York)Comer because I moved to NYC with my friends AV and KR and I wanted to chronicle our journey together. I got a huge kick out of writing about all our crazy stories and hearing from random people who had been reading it.

About a year later, I moved back to Texas.

I wanted to keep blogging, so I started writing The Manhattan Transfer to talk about the next step in my journey: transitioning to life in Dallas. While New York was an invaluable and humbling experience for me that I will always view as important to my spiritual, personal and career development, I've grown up a lot since then and a lot has changed.

Half of THIS blog (if we're talking about humbling experiences) was written while I was still living under my parents roof in the suburbs after moving back from NYC. I'm now coming up on the one-year anniversary of living in Dallas with KS and MG and I feel more established here. I had never lived IN Dallas until I moved here last May. If I'm going to have a blog, I think it should reflect where I am in my life.

I mean, for the love, I was wishing friends MY AGE a happy Mother's Day today.

You know?

There are a lot of things I enjoy doing, but writing is at the top of the list. It really is. Rather than frustrate myself over how to re-mold this blog, I think I prefer to archive it and start afresh. The New(York)Comer reflected what it was: my friends and I as newcomers to New York, right out of college. The Manhattan Transfer reflects what it has been as well: transitioning my life to Dallas.

Now I have to figure out what exactly I want my next blog phase to look like.

I wish I could whip up a new blog name and design as easily as I can put dinner on the table (that was a bit self-congratulatory, I grant you), but alas, I confess I'm a bit incompetent when it comes to web-design. Hopefully there are some web designers who confess they don't know a shallot from a spring onion or how to use a pastry bag, and then I'll feel better about myself.

I'll cook you dinner- you design my blog. If only starting from scratch could be so easy, right?

I'll keep y'all posted on my progress and keep writing here in the meantime.

After all, the show must go on.

When you're finished changing, you're finished.
-Benjamin Franklin